8 Months In Advance? Customer Wants To Reschedule Wedding

Decorating By JCE62108 Updated 13 May 2010 , 11:32pm by LKing12

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:04pm
post #1 of 24

I have a bride who emails me nearly every day. She has ever since about 2 months ago when she initially contacted me to do her wedding cake. She has since requested a consultation with tasting, and two more tastings on top of that on different days because she decided there were other things she wanted to try.

She keeps changing the design of her wedding cake, emailing me photos every week "how much is this one, and how much is that one" Honestly, I have no problem with helping people out and I bend over backwards more than I need to for my clients. But she is absolutly driving me up the wall.

Now she wants to change the date of her wedding to 8 months from now. I feel like telling her I wont book that far in advance. Honestly, I really dont want to book people more than 6 months in advance. How do you guys feel about this? Would you book someone 8 months in advance? Is there any kind of limit you set?

This girl really is nice, but with all she has put me through and with how much time I've spent answering emails everyday, calculating pricing and sizing for cakes she doesnt even want, looking for gumpaste flowers and pricing she doesnt even want, and baking fresh samples for her at her whim, even when I had 3 orders to deliver in 3 different cities in one day, I still squeezed in a delivery to the restuarant she was having lunch at so she could have a few more samples....I feel like just returning her money and taking the loss. She is a nice girl....but I really feel like Im bending over backwards for no reason. She doesnt seem to know WHAT she wants.

Anyway, I didnt really intend for this to be a rant, but I really just want your advice on if I should reschedule this for January, or just tell her I can't schedule that far in advance? OR, if that is not the proper way to do it (I really dont know how other bakeries do it) please let me know if you DO put a limit on how far in advance you take orders. I mean, Im sure you wont take an order two years in advance...so there has to be some limit Im sure.

23 replies
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jammjenks Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:11pm
post #2 of 24

I do book that far ahead, so I wouldn't be able to use that. If you don't book more than 6 months ahead...that's your policy, stick to it.

Customers like that make me so irritated. It makes me feel the way you do...like cutting them off. Most of the time, though, it's the tiny b-day cakes that give me so much grief. thumbsdown.gif

For this customer, if it were me, I'd quit answering her emails so quickly. Let her sit for several days before getting a response from you. At least that will cut down the communication a little.

And NO MORE SAMPLES. Unless she pays, of course.

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Firekyttie Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:19pm
post #3 of 24

I agree with the previous poster. If 6 months is your policy stick to it.
As far as making changes I would make her pick a design and sign a contract for that design if you are gong to accept her as a client. If she wants changes etc after that charge her 25.00 per change and make sure to put it in the contract and make her inital by each of your stipulations.
That should cut out the samples too. Each sample tasting now would be included in that 25.00 At least you wouldnt be wasting your time and efforts for her whims.

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:24pm
post #4 of 24

Im not trying to find an excuse to get rid of her, lol. But I just wasnt sure about booking so far in advance. I dont exactly have a policy....yet...so I dont exactly have something I need to stick to. That is why I wanted to ask you guys first before I responded to her email. I just really didnt know how that was done. Im pretty new to this. Only been on my own for a year (this month, actually!). So I have a lot to learn. All my policies so far come about because things like this come up. So I think I will put some sort of limit on it. Maybe 10 months or so? I just feel like so much can happen in that time, it seems crazy to me that people would even want to place orders that far in advance. They can change there minds a million times by then.

I actually have a birthday cake this month that was placed 6 months in advance! lol. I thought for sure she would change the theme or something about the cake in 6 months. Apparently she knew what she wanted and stuck with it. icon_smile.gif

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:30pm
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For this customer, if it were me, I'd quit answering her emails so quickly. Let her sit for several days before getting a response from you. At least that will cut down the communication a little.

Hmmm....it seems I've been given that advice before. Debi, I should have listened to you! I guess I feel like I have an obligation to answer as quickly as I can....that, and Im afraid if I DONT, then Ill forget that she emailed me. icon_smile.gif

See, I was charging her for samples, but only like $6.00 for a small 5" cake. That BARELY covers ingrediants and supplies, actually I think I loose a little once I factor in the cost of the board and cake dome. I do it this way because at least I can just make a half batch, and have a few cupcakes left over for samples for other people if they want it. But the thing is, when I have other things to do, making three or four half batches or crazy gourmet flavored cakes, fillings, icings....it sucks up time that I need for my paid orders. That is what has bothered me.

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penguinprincess Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:30pm
post #6 of 24

If you do not want to make her cake, then tell her you are unavailable that day.

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rowingmom Posted 13 May 2010 , 2:32pm
post #7 of 24

people are so strange!!! I had a bride want to make an appointment for a tasting for a date in 2012!

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 4:13pm
post #8 of 24

I think people get overly excited sometimes. icon_smile.gif

I still dont know what to tell her. I guess I should just let her book it. She'll probably change her mind again anyway. I guess it's all a part of customer service. I guess.

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 4:28pm
post #9 of 24

OOH DUH!!!! I'll be having a baby then! I better schedule that in so I dont forget! LOL!!! I forgot I just found out my due date is Dec. 29th. icon_smile.gif

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jenmat Posted 13 May 2010 , 5:12pm
post #10 of 24

Congrats on the baby~ guess you have your out!
But for future,
Just make a policy where you feel comfortable. My policy is that I only schedule one calendar year out, meaning that they cannot schedule any 2012 weddings until Jan 1 2011. Doesn't matter if its June, July, or December of 2012, they can schedule it Jan 1, 2011. I have people call me on New Year's day to schedule their 2011 cakes. So, I think people both get overly excited and they know that prices just go up.

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 5:18pm
post #11 of 24

LOL thanks! I emailed her back and she said she may have to cancel the order now. I actually feel a little guilty...but it's not my fault she had to reschedule I guess. She was asking about my refund policy. Ill see what she has to say about her order now, I guess. icon_smile.gif

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kake4me2 Posted 13 May 2010 , 5:36pm
post #12 of 24

OOOHHH........Thats why she wanted to reschedule ........to get out of your "no-refund on cancellations window". Better get ready to be firm on you refund policy!

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 5:49pm
post #13 of 24

She actually has a very valid reason for needing to reschedule. I feel even worse now. Her future mother in law was just diagnosed with lung cancer, and will be overseas (military) during the month the wedding was originally supposed to take place. They feel now that they want to make sure they include her, but they will have to push back the wedding until Jan. when she returns. Im kind of surprised that the military would send someone with lung cancer overseas anyways. She is going to need treatment, most likely. I mean, I dont know what she is doing over there, or where she is even going, but I hope she can at least get the treatment she needs. I honestly just CANT do anything for her at that time though. My due date is Dec. 29th, and Ill most likely have to have a C-section again, so I'll be healing at that time. Even if I have the baby sooner, or a little later....I'll still be unavailable. I feel pretty bad about her situation now, because she is really disapointed. Now I feel like a B*****. I am sometimes. Not intentionally. I just get annoyed...but now I feel bad. I guess Ill try to help her as much as I can. I'll probably end up refunding pretty much everything. Technically she can get everything back but $50 (initial deposit, as per my policy), but I think I may even cut that in half for her and just say let me keep $25 to help me pay for the samples and deliveries and we will be square.

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TexasSugar Posted 13 May 2010 , 6:44pm
post #14 of 24

You shouldn't feel guilty that her new date falls in a time when you wouldn't be scheduling cakes anyway? Your family and health are just as important, if not more so, as someone else's wedding.

If she doesn't understand that you would either be ready to pop, having the baby or recovering from C section and taking care of a new born, that is her problem. Your baby and family need you more at that time than someone needs a cake.

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 6:55pm
post #15 of 24

You're right. Thank you. icon_smile.gif

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TexasSugar Posted 13 May 2010 , 7:07pm
post #16 of 24

Your welcome! icon_smile.gif

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LisaMarie86 Posted 13 May 2010 , 7:10pm
post #17 of 24

I would not give her an extra refund because of this. I would keep all of the deposit. I am sure that she isnt lying about the lady going overseas but it seems odd with having lung cancer that she would be doing anything like that. What do I know though. Congrats on the baby and when you booked her you had no clue she would be changing it to the time when you need to take care of yourself. Don't feel bad at all. It happens and is no ones fault.

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Rose_N_Crantz Posted 13 May 2010 , 7:27pm
post #18 of 24

A $50 deposit isn't a whole lot to keep. How many samples did you have to make and deliver to her? If she signed a contract saying the $50 deposit is nonrefundable then it is nonrefundable. Done and done.

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JCE62108 Posted 13 May 2010 , 8:19pm
post #19 of 24

yeah. I made her something like, 7 different samples of gourmet cakes, including different fillings and icings. Also brownies, truffles, chocolates, etc. She paid for them, but it was only at cost, and it was MY cost and inconvenience to deliver. She is trying to figure things out right now. I doubt she is lying. She has been thrilled with the cakes and she knows she cant get the price I gave her anywhere else, so I really think this is something that just came up.

I still dont know about the $50.00...I'm a sucker sometimes. No....a people pleaser I guess. Ok, a sucker. icon_smile.gif

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blessBeckysbaking Posted 13 May 2010 , 8:37pm
post #20 of 24

the $50.00 is nothing but labor for all the samples after the baby congrats you wont be caking soon id think so that will be a bit of a set back. in other words u shouldnt feel bad about the 50.00 at all.

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GGFan Posted 13 May 2010 , 9:30pm
post #21 of 24

Yeah, $50 is nothing it is for the time you waste emailing her back and preparing all the samples. I know it is customer service but your time was wasted for nothing now.

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cakesbycathy Posted 13 May 2010 , 10:51pm
post #22 of 24

Tell her that while you sympathize with her situation she will NOT be receiving her (measly) $50 back due to the fact that you have spent a great deal of time answering emails and making changes to her original design. In addition to providing her extra samples at cost. You deserve to be compensated for this.

On a side note - it is not your problem that the bride is wishy-washy. The fact that she is dealing with an unfortunate situation is sad, but again, not your problem.

I will accept orders up to a year in advance and I did just accept one for next September because they are paying big $$$$ and I didn't want to lose it to another baker.

Also, I charge a 50% non-refundable deposit and they don't get it back if they cancel or change the date and I am no longer available.

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JulieMN Posted 13 May 2010 , 11:12pm
post #23 of 24

You have done a tremendous amount of work for her already. Sometimes situations change and things don't work out the way they were planned. The way I see it is that in addition to holding her original date for her, another purpose for the deposit is to help cover some of those initial costs. I would not refund the small amount she put forward.

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LKing12 Posted 13 May 2010 , 11:32pm
post #24 of 24

I would not offer a refund. She changed the wedding date-not you. Most military know farther in advance than this when they are going to be deployed. I book cakes a year in advance, but do not talk design until 6 months out. I offer one tasting and any changes are documented and charged a design addition fee. I do not answer emails immediately, and when I do I apologize for the delay because I have been so busy.

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